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HIV and AIDS

Preventing Condom Breakage

04/29/2002

Question:

What`s the best way to prevent the condom from breaking during intercourse?

Answer:

The use of condoms have been demonstrated to be effective in decreasing the transmission of HIV and some other sexually transmitted diseases. However, it is not completely safe and the possibility of rupture is always present. Several recommendations have been made to minimize the incidence of these problems: 1) Test the condom integrity by moderate inflation with water. 2) Never use petroleum based lubricants, ALWAYS use water based lubricants (KY-jelly). Avoid the use of nonoxynol- containing spermicides. They provide improved contraception but may increase the transmission of HIV. 3) Always use a new condom per intercourse. 4) Consider changing condoms during prolonged sessions of intercourse. 5) Wearing double condoms may provide some extra protection. 6) Condoms are more prone to rupture during anal or oral sex. 7) Check the integrity of the condom frequently during intercourse. 8) In case of condom rupture, interrupt sexual activities. There is no evidence that thorough washing of genitals increase or decrease the transmission of HIV and other STD. 9) In case of high risk exposure (broken condom) consider going to an emergency room: Prophylactic treatment with anti HIV medications decreases the incidence of HIV transmission substantially.

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Response by:

Francisco   Gomez, MD Francisco Gomez, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati